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On this very day in 1985 a sweet young thing uttered, “I Do”, and before she could change her mind, Joseph L. Montoya pronounced it to be so.
We didn't have a whole lot of money to put on a big shindig, in fact our biggest expense was several cases of champagne. We then hired Mo's husband Rick (think ZZ Top) to keep the kids out of the champagne fountain at the reception. Turned out he was a charming host and found the proximity to the joy juice to his liking. Mo, made us a fabulous from-scratch wedding cake (they ate all three tiers). The moms and sisters and friends worked hard to provide catering services at the clubhouse that Gary snagged us for free.
The photographer was the absolute worst (didn't even take pictures of the bride's mother for cripes sake) so we didn't order any. My dad wouldn't talk to my mom, but that was expected. The best man turned out not to be and spent several weeks before hand bad mouthing the whole wedding to anyone who'd listen. That wasn't expected nor was the gift wrapped Pampers (his assumption that Lisa was PG spawned this generous wedding gift).
But we survived the jokes and the jerks and our lives have been ever so blessed. Twenty years and two kids later here we are, best friends who happen to be married to each other.
Only the beginning of what I want to feel forever.....
Upstaging Monty Python, Mad TV, and the Onion, the fight between 42 midgets and an African lion took place on April 30 in Cambodia.
In a suprise rout, the midgets lost, thus proving my grandfather's adage (the Mean Old White Man) that in any given fight, "a good big man can whip a good little man every time". Even 42 of them.
The fight was called in only 12 minutes, after which 28 fighters were declared dead, while the other 14 suffered severe injuries including broken bones and lost limbs, rendering them unable to fight back.
David Nieporent comments over at the Reason blog that sloppy reporting led to snide remarks like mine (in the foregoing post) with respect to the Thomas dissent.
1. Thomas didn't argue that the ruling "needlessly" overturned anything; he argued that the ruling misinterpreted the relevant statute and the constitution.
2. The state laws were not "aimed partly at protecting minors." They had nothing to do with minors. They were aimed at protecting domestic wineries (and distributors). The states' recent claims to the contrary in the course of this litigation are risable. There aren't a lot of 17 year olds ordering a nice cabernet over the internet.
3. Even if the laws were aimed at protecting minors, Thomas didn't argue that. It's two different ideas, spliced together:
(A) Thomas argued that the ruling needlessly overturned regulations, and (B) the regulations were aimed at protecting children.
That's cool, and well said. But as a wild-eyed libertarian I still find the regulations objectionable on many levels. Thomas is still wrong, just wrong for better reasons.
My Better Half just hollered downstairs that the Supers ruled this morning that state-imposed handcuffs must come off interstate wine shippers. IOW, it is no longer illegal to ship wine from California to Ohio.
While vacationing a few years back a good friend and fellow traveler on the wine highway bought some premium red wine in Kapalua (maybe Lahaina) and then had it shipped home to himself. It never arrived and when he put in a claim with UPS he was told the wine had been seized as contraband and as such his insurance was null and void. He argued that somebody was drinking his pricey wine and demanded insurance reimbursement for the cost. I'm happy to report that unlike the government, UPS eventually caved and covered the cost of the wines.
The good news is that this kind of absurdity will never happen again.
“This is the best day for wine-lovers since the invention of the corkscrew,” said Clint Bolick, the strategic litigation counsel for the Institute for Justice. “This landmark ruling is a victory for consumers and small businesses and a defeat for economic protectionism. It demonstrates that in the era of the Internet, the Court will vindicate the principles of free trade that made this country great.”
My question, gentle readers, is why, in a country that advertises itself as a beacon of freedom to the world, did IJ have to litigate? And not simply going to court, but an appeals process that ended up at the Supreme Court of the United States, just to enforce our basic human right to buy and sell the things we choose to.
Are we free? Or not? Yes but.........somebody's gonna decide just how free you are. And it ain't gonna be you by golleee. To which I say, Uh-huh, if you can't own the property you ARE the property.
Bolick said, “Now wine lovers all across the nation can obtain their favorite wines without having to commit an act of civil disobedience.”
And without admitting guilt, a certain WC living in a certain state has aided and abetted such civil disobedience on behalf of friends in formerly oppressed states, and therefore, I understand exactly what Clint Bolick means.
This ruling has wide ranging implications whose ripples will extend well beyond the narrow confines of the wine merchants and consumers. That's good news, indeed.
The Supreme Court opinion is here. (.pdf) A nice summary of the litigation is here.
Your Faithful Wine Commonsewer
tip of the glass to Lisa
Several people have emailed me information this morning about the decision. I appreciate all of your input. Thanks.
TWC is ESPECIALLY disappointed that Clarence Thomas vigorously opposed this decision citing his fear that people under the age of 21 might be able to get booze. You see, it's impossible for them to get booze now and this decision will open the flood gates.
Just about anywhere wine is served with food you'll find a pricey wine list. Even marginal to barely passable wines fetch premium prices in most eateries. Except at Myth in San Francisco.
Marc Cohen, a New York doctor turned Napa vintner, had the preposterous-sounding goal from the beginning of offering "wines you can't find anywhere else in the world," at a markup 20 to 30 percent less than other restaurants.
The wine industry has long insisted that smaller markups will sell more wine, especially higher end wine. In simplest economic terms, more volume = better net, which is, exactly how it works for Cohen.
"We just decided to make less money on the wine," says Cohen. "It's an economy of scale — we sell more." And apparently they do: He says their wine sales make up a substantially higher percentage of their gross than most restaurants'.
Whole thing here. In depth review here. Winelist here (still pricey).
Stevie Crown (trench coat, porkpie hat) & Bear (in a Will suit) added another wrinkle to their birthday cakes on Saturday. My sister Mo called on her son to carry her cake today (too many candles).
(click to enlarge image) Hey, it's Friday the 13th and my father was born on this day just scant months before the champagne bubble of the 1920's burst on Black Tuesday.
That's us in 1952. I'm thinking the car is my dad's Buick (Col Hogan would know year and make for sure).
It was a pretty nice neighborhood in those days, not far from where Wyatt Earp's family once called home. These days you'd probably want to steer clear after dark. Note the really cool streetlight in the background.
Our modern day superstitious fear of Friday the 13th evolved in part from the hard reality of a diabolical plot hatched by King Phillip of France and Pope Clement V in 1306 to crush the Knights of the Temple (Knights Templar).
As dawn broke on the morning of Friday October 13, 1306, in simultaneous strikes across France a blitzkrieg of Hitlerian proportions took place. The ultimate triumph of this plan rested fully on the element of surprise. The authorities were shocked and reluctant to arrest members of the order when the pronouncement was unsealed, but the tipping point was the inclusion of a Papal decree branding the Knights as heretics, including charges of spitting on the cross, kissing cats backsides, and sodomy (sounds positively modern). Many Knights were arrested, tortured, killed, burned at the stake, and had their lands and wealth seized.
It is hard to judge the overall success of the raids because some accounts claim the Knights Templar was wiped out over the next few years while other historians cite persistent rumors that numerous members of the order escaped with their ships and treasures intact, settling in England, Spain, and Portugal.
And, of course, there are the conspiracy theories and mythology surrounding the Kinghts that persist to this day, which makes it all the more difficult to seperate truth from fiction.
If you waited until the last minute to file your tax return and you haven't received your refund yet you can check the status of your refund online.
We've moved that section from where it was under White Zin to the lower left side of your screen. Scroll down past the weather to Online Refund Status.
This is much less confusing, although I confess to being amused by the obscure connection between 'refund' and 'white zinfandel' (have a pink wine party with your paltry refund). Yes, I know, a beeeg stretch.
As I always say, when in doubt, however, go with simple. So we did.
Again, we don't have a link up for any states where we don't have clients but if you email TWC I'll provide you with the link for your state.